Obvious Apps: An Obvious Start to A Colorful Business

March 1, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Sadi Anderson
ssanderson@smu.edu

Graphic from Stewart Youngblood

I was handed two brightly colored business cards when I sat down at the table at Starbucks. The colors on the cards foreshadowed the colorful start of a business that was going to be shared with me that afternoon.

Harry Ting and Stewart Youngblood started their own business called Obvious Apps after graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2010. Both came to Starbucks wearing their typical business attire: blue jeans. The ideal business atmosphere for them would be laid back and creative, and both were passionate about developing new ideas for their business. There would be sporadic subject changes in our conversation when one of them would show me a new app that they were excited about that was currently in the pipeline.

Despite their laid back nature; the start of the company took a lot of hard work. They spent their entire Christmas break in the library at Cox Business School. While other students were relaxing after a long semester, they were just picking up steam. Both were busy developing ideas for their new business venture.

Obvious Apps is a website where people can submit ideas for cell phone applications. Youngblood first entertained the thought of this company the summer before his senior year. He saw a need in the market for people to be able to create applications and earn a decent percentage of each sale. He described himself as the idea generator, and his partner Ting as very detail-oriented.

Even though the two men knew each other growing up in Plano, TX, their uncanny ability to work together was realized after being put in the same project group. Ting said that during the late group meetings, they would often spend time dreaming of ways to launch their new company.

Throughout the following semester, they worked on the business while attending school and preparing for graduation. Youngblood said they had to continue applying for jobs because they weren’t sure whether or not Obvious Apps would be successful.

The biggest challenge the men faced while starting Obvious Apps was finding investors.

“It was hard to find a company in Texas that invests in technology,” Ting said. “Most of these companies are in California.”

Eventually the men found individuals who were interested in loaning them money. These types of investors are known as Angel Investors. Once they had enough capital Obvious Apps was formalized in March 2010.

When asked if they learned everything they knew from business school, they both laughed and said there is only so much you can learn in a classroom. Most of what they have learned was through trial and error.

Today people can go to their website and fill out a form describing an application idea. Once new ideas are posted, everyone who visits the site can vote on their favorite application. Youngblood explained how ideas come from everywhere but the voting process is vital to determine how may people are actually

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Global News Blog: Singapore Brings New iPhone Code

February 12, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Medley Buttermore

Have you ever wondered who comes up with applications for iPhone? Well wonder no more because these applications come from all over the world. The newest application, Doodle Kids, is a finger painting program which allows the user to paint on their touch screens, using only their fingers and erasing simply by shaking the device. Lim Ding Wen, a nine year old from Singapore came up with this application for his younger sisters who love to draw. According to a BBC article, this new program has been downloaded over 4,000 times from the Apple iTunes store in less than two weeks giving this young boy a huge pat on the back.

“Ding Wen is an above average boy with an interest in computers, especially Apple IIGS and Macs, likes to do programming, and that’s it” wrote his father on his website. We all knew Asia was more technologically advanced than the U.S. but to have nine year old writing programs for us is beyond our imagination. Ding Wen won’t stop there though he “is now working on a sci-fi game for the iPhone called Invader Wars and plans to join his school’s robotics club.”

Who knew that we were so closely connected with Asia and their advancing technology? Technology has interconnected the world in an unimaginable way leaving us only to wonder, what’s next?